Study Trip Morocco – Day 5

The last day of our study trip started with sunshine. This is how our mood towards this experience changed as well. We started to feel that this very interesting study trip was slowly coming to an end. During the day we experienced two very interesting business presentations of Swissport in the morning and ABB and later on a tour and presentation in the Business University ISCAE. The day was accompanied with the best mood and excellent lunch offered from swissport by the Kenzi Sidi Maarouf Hotel. That is also where Christophe de Figueiredo held his presentation about Swissport.


In the morning we had the opportunity to attend a presentation of Swissport on entering and innovating in Morocco for a Swiss company. The event was taking place in the nice atmosphere of the Kenzi Sidi Maarouf hotel close to the companies Moroccan Headquarter.

Swissport presentation

Mr. de Figueiredo, CEO Morocco, originally from the French part of Switzerland welcomed us and inspired the students with his insightful and entertaining presentation. Swissport is the world leader in offering airport side services. From landing to take off, the firm takes care and coordinates all processes involved. De-icing of wings, loading and unloading luggage, check-in process and onboarding passengers are just parts of its key services. The company has a market share of 15% of global volume in the extremely fragmented market, as explained by Mr. de Figueiredo. Its global headquarter is located in Glattbrugg, Zürich Switzerland and acts as a strategic coordinator.

Profile key figures:
– Revenue 2.7 billion
– Countries 48
– Flights handled 4.3 million
– Airports served 279
– Passenger handled 250 million

Swissport entered the Moroccan market in 2012 and nowadays handles 4 out of 250 million passengers travelling in and out of the country. The subsidiary employs 649 Moroccans and Mr. de Figueiredo, which represent the only foreign employee in the company. In Morocco, Swissport serves 9 airports and its headquarter is located in Casablanca. The main challenges while entering the new market were the heavy bureaucracy and the reluctance against foreign competition. Further did cultural differences and the low skilled workforce represent challenging problems. However, doing business in Africa is definitively worthwhile for Swissport because of promising business opportunities in the near future.

Swiss chocolate for an outstanding presentation

Further Outlook for the Swissport:
Swissport is opting for alternative energy options to park the aircrafts and pull it to the take off.
Fully automated processes are planned by Swissport, however automation is difficult in such a traditional industry.

Facts you might didn’t expect:
– The heaviest cargo makes up the fuel
– At some check-ins the body weights is measured secretly – for optimal weight balance of the aircraft
– Statistically, seats in the very back of the airplane are the safest

Quote of the day
Excelent buffet offered by Swissport


After a extremely delicious and varied lunch we headed to ABB and were warmly welcomed by Khalee Torbey, Managing Director of Morocco and his team.

37 smiles for ABB – counted by team of the day

In short, ABB is ensuring that the electricity is smoothly supplied up to the plug. They are active in three main segments:

  • Power and utilities
  • Industry
  • Infrastructure

ABB recently joined a partnership with formula E that opened up a platform to develop electric cars. Furthermore they are an official partner of the COP22, which is in line with Moroccos heavy investment in renewable energies. Their latest step was the acquisition of General Electrics, which follows the strategy of penetrating the US market.

Narjise Saadi Drissi, country service manager with a degree in electrical engineering introduced us to ABBs values such as safety & integrity. She also highlighted the career opportunities for women at ABB, despite being part of the technical industry.

ABB is moreover focusing on the industrial revolution 4.0. They constructed the first collaborative robot in the world and created a platform called „My ABB portal“, an online tool for customers to plan the future maintenance of their machines. According to Mr. Torbey, the todays emerge of robotics and fully automated processes will not lead to disruptive effects and unemployment but rather give employees in charge of repetitive tasks the opportunity to develop their skills.

To conclude, ABB is building a strategy on base of what is coming next: „The opportunity is here – and we are ready.“

ISCAE University

Our last stop was at the University ISCAE, which is one of the best business schools in Morocco. The visit started with tea and a tour through their spacious campus.

ISCAE University Campus
The lecture hall of the University
ISCAE lecture

Afterwards,Professor Abdellah Amallah, lecturer of economics at ISCAE presented Morocco‘s economic outlook and relations with the World Bank, AfBD (African Development Bank) and the EBI (European Investment Bank). The aim was to give us an insight of how lectures are held at their University. The final discussion was enriched by some local students of the ISCAE.

Wrapping up this day and also this whole study trip week we can say in the name of all students that it was a very informative, challenging and also fun week. We had many different companies and presentations, which gave us deep insights into different businesses and the Moroccan business culture. Our horizon has been enlargend by the so-called “gateway to Africa” and this study trip experience.

Written by Group 1 – Céline, Edona, Leah, Tanja

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *